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Volume 19/Issue 6/2001

Rip & Marsha

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

Majesty of Spain Is Jackson's
Latest Showstopper Exhibition

Mississippi's own City of Jackson has another showstopper on its hands with The Majesty of Spain exhibition. Executive Director Jack Kyle once again proves his expertise producing what has to be his best effort yet. Memphis' loss so many years ago of Kyle to Jackson must be a bitter defeat for Elvis's own hometown.

The exhibition showcases the largest collection of Spanish royal treasures ever presented in North America from the Museo del Prado and Patrimonio Nacinal. The royal collections feature the once-personal possessions of Spanish kings Fernando VI, Carlos III, Carlos IV and Fernando VII, spanning the period of 1746 to 1833.

gondola The oldest, largest and certainly one of the most impressive objects is the 17th century, 55-foot royal gondola, which dates to the time of Felipe II, decorated with elaborately carved scenes of cherubs, angels, sea monsters, and other mythical creatures and covered with beautiful gold gilding.

The 17th century royal carriage of Fernando VII built around 1832 with eight white horses is adorned with gilded bronze, crystal, precious stones and other materials. Mythological scenes and other decorations enhance its beauty.

The grand centerpiece of the exhibition is the magnificent chinoiserie "Porcelain Room" re-creation from the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. The walls and ceiling of this amazing room are entirely made of porcelain, featuring exquisite raised relief of Chinese figures, monkeys, birds, dragons, flowers, insects and other figures, which is affixed to flat panels of porcelain using approximately 11,000 screws. The colorful chandelier features a whimsical man with a monkey on his back. The re-creation of the Porcelain room was executed by El Barco, an art restoration firm in Spain, costing in excess of $800,000. This is only one of five room re-creations from several of Spain's royal palaces and casitas [smaller residences on the grounds of the palaces used solely by the royalty and their families].

Other room re-creations include the adamesque Hall of Stuccoes from the Casita del Principe at the Royal Palace of El Pardo, whose walls are made of scagliola and decorated with high relief sculpture; an entire room of Goya tapestries; a banqueting hall which is decorated with twelve incredible place settings of crystal, silver and porcelain; and the neoclassical Sculpture Gallery from the Labrador Casita at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez.

And let's not forget the paintings from both the royal palaces and the world-renowned Museo del Prado [Prado Museum]. The three major painters featured in the exhibition are the Italian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, the German neoclassicist Anton Rafael Mengs and the famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. All three were painters to the Spanish court during the time period on which the exhibition focuses.

The famous San Antonio de Padua by Tiepolo is on display as well as the poignant Crucifixion of Christ by Mengs, considered to be the most important neoclassical painting in Spain. A distinguishing feature of the exhibition is a number of cartoon paintings by Goya, including his tender and beautiful El Quitasol from the Prado Museum. The cartoons, which were used by the royal Tapestry Manufactory to create beautiful tapestries for the royal palaces, have since become even more famous than the tapestries for which they were models. el Quitasol is so important to the Prado Museum that it is loaned to the Mississippi exhibition for only three months. It will then be replaced by another wonderfully expressive cartoon painting, Ninos inflando una vejiga [Children blowing up a balloon].

Other objects in the exhibition include exquisitely designed fans, candelabra, chandeliers, costumes, furniture, clocks, a magnificent throne, armaments, tapestries, ivories, embroideries, and many other trappings of 18th and early 19th century Spanish royalty.

Admission prices are Adults-$15, Seniors [60+]-$14, College/University students with ID-$10, children/Youth [infants-18 years of age]-$5. Tickets are for a specific time and date. Advance tickets are strongly recommended. Tickets may be purchased at TicketMaster, 1.877.709.2639.

The exhibition will run through Sept. 3, 2001 at the Mississippi Arts Pavilion in downtown Jackson. Visit majestyofspain.com for more info.

dragonflyKrewe of Petronius wins big at 37th Annual Bourbon St. Awards sponsored by Bud Light & Wood Enterprises. Left, Petronius King XXXIX Romnie LeLeaux as the Venice DragonFly wins top honor/Best of Show. Below: Gabe Nassar as the Red Witchdoctor wins 1st Place Fantasy.witchdoctor

Pansies & Dirt

Mardi Gras was an action packed holiday with loads of activities from which revelers could choose. Oz kicked off the week-long frenzy on Wed. with its hit Mardi Gras show performed by its award winning cast. The group won Show Bar of the Year at the Gay Appreciation Awards this past Dec. Stars included Bianca Del Rio, Teryl-Lynn Foxx, Lisa Beaumann and Raquel Chevallier. Special guest was none other than King Cake Queen VIII Phyllis Denmark.

Thurs. brought us across the River for a visit with bar baron Johnny at Peppers. The festive crowd here even had a dance troupe rehearsing for the Krewe of Armeinius Ball.

Next stop was 735 and what a surprise was in store for us at the popular club's Flawless Mardi Gras Show. Show director and Ambassador to the World Tabu had 735's showgirls lined up with production number after production number. Girl you would have thought you were at a Vegas show with all the costume and choreography delights featured in this extravaganza. Some of the stars included Sha'nyia Ellis Narcisse, Asya Alexander, Nikki Narcisse and Miss Gay New Orleans America Jada Alexander.

Then it was off to the Bourbon Pub/Parade for its 5th Annual Big Meat Contest. The bar was packed and revelers were treated to a string of hot gladiator dancers on the bar top. The contest was late and we were on a tight schedule and were off to the next adventure.

It would be our St. Louis Street run with visits to the legends of LeRoundup, the celebs at Double Play and the hot bartop dancers at the Corner Pocket. The Corner Pocket boyz were tantalizing the Carnival boyz around the bar.

Fri. rolled around and it was off to TT's Big Meat Brigade. The fellas were in rare form here, and Lady Charles cracked her whip to keep the show moving right along.

Voodoo at Congo Square had all the Voodoo worshippers they could handle, while Ninth Circle at Congo Square was keeping the beat of the drums with DJ Rob.

Orlando's Society Page's new renovations enlarging the bar service area proved to be a hit with so many revelers in town.

The packed clubs would keep us out of our normal Bourbon St. venues, but we opted instead for a stint on our own Ambush Bourbon St. balcony. The sights were festive as always, and it never ceases to amaze one and all what happens when you have loads of beads to tantalize revelers below.

Lundi Gras brought us to the Golden Lantern and were we in for a treat. The Krewe of Olympus, out of Houston, TX was in the house for the showing of their ball video. Co-captains Ben and Bill made us feel right at home and gave us their own blinking Olympus beads, plus their own Captains' medallions normally given to members and special Olympus ball guests. The ball was spectacular and we hope to catch up with the krewe on an upcoming visit to Houston later this year. We had to call it an early one since Fat Tuesday was our big day.

Our regular Mardi Gras day revelers began arriving at 11am. We all had to get a little nourishment and a few cocktails in before the giant 1pm Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss kickoff. King Cake Queen VIII Phyllis Denmark, reigning as the Peacock Queen, showcased her enthusiasm and expertise in balcony show and throw techniques which is the only criteria for winning the KCQ crown. Next year's King Cake Queen will be chosen from one of the revelers on this year's Ambush balcony. When all was said and done, Ambush's Krewe of Queenateenas tossed some 20,000 beads to the huge crowds below. The theme "Tetons et Derriere" was carried out in the style revelers have come to expect at 828 Bourbon St.

Ash Wednesday brought us over for Martinis with Red Velour. However, Red was under the weather when we arrived and was on her way out. New bartender Butch would be an asset in our Carnival recovery plan.

Next we visited Cowpokes where bar baron Rex was manning New Orleans' only GLBT country and western bar. The guys here were also doing their own recovery plan.

Bywater Bar.B.Que/Lorenzo's would have to be our next stop for a very late, well needed lunch. The chargrilled burgers here are always a good choice to soak up all that extra vino we had guzzled.

After a couple of days rest, it was off to Metairie on Sunday for our first crawfish boil. Kim, Leslie and the whole gang at Metairie's newest club, Rainbow's, hosted a fabu boil complete with corn on the cob, potatoes, garlic, smoked sausage, and of course, crawfish. For $5 you got a big go-box helping of the South Louisiana delicacy. Rainbow's grand opening is set for Fri. and Sat., March 23 and 24. Starting at 6pm, enjoy a complimentary buffet, killer drink specials and DJ Stan.

Next stop would be one of our favorites, 4 Seasons in the Burbs. Steve was slingin' cocktails, filling us in on all the latest. Comedy star Jerry Halliday and his Puppets from Hell, direct from Las Vegas and Atlantic City, will perform on Sun., Mar. 18, 6pm on the patio. The act will also hit the stage at Billy's in Slidell on Fri., Mar. 16, 10:30pm and at Angles on Sat., Mar. 17, 11pm.

DB Carnes hosted a festive party celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Krystal delivery. Hosted at Petunias, invited guests were treated to the double cheese Krystal, plus delights prepared by Petunias chef Jay Loomis, including shrimp and tortellini pasta salad, hot wings with blu cheese and finger sandwiches.

St. Patty's Day weekend promises to be an action packed thriller for revelers across the Gulf South. Flip through the pages in this edition and you are sure to find the right venue for your enjoyment. Since St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sat. this year, there is so much more to see and do. And please remember to always support all of our advertisers. Without them, Ambush would not be able to promote and support the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Community.

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